Danville businessman indicted on federal fraud, identity theft charges

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comApril 8, 2013 

The chief executive and manager of a Danville fun center has been indicted in federal court in Lexington on charges that he defrauded an investor and a commercial loan company.

Paul Christopher Turner, chief executive and manager of Go Go Gorillas! Fun Center, which closed last year, is charged with seven counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to an indictment filed April 5 in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

Between April and August, 2010, Turner sought a loan from Maxim Commercial Capital, LLC in the form of a purchase and lease back arrangement for equipment and games for operator of Grace Global Media Corporation, which operated Go Go Gorilla. The agreement was executed about May 12, 2010, the indictment said.

By early 2011, Grace Corporation was significantly delinquent in payments, and additional agreements were executed in the winter of 2011, the indictment said.

Between April, 2010 and April 5, Turner devised a scheme to defraud and to obtain money and property from Ilene Severance, an investor, and Maxim by means of "false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises," the indictment said. The indictment says Turner falsely represented to Maxim that Severance was an informed participant in the loan application process, and, without Severance's knowledge, offered to collateralize the Maxim agreement with a mortgage on Severance's real estate in Stanford. Turner forged signatures on the documents, the indictment says.

The wire fraud offense carries a term of up to 20 years in prison per count, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release, the indictment said. The penalty for the identity theft charge is two years in prison, not more than a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release, the indictment said. Prosecutors are asking for forfeiture of any property that was part of the alleged crime.

Turner, who could not immediately be reached for comment Monday, has been summoned to appear in court April 16.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter:@vhspears

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